1: At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, there’s been some red tide in the area and on Wednesday there were some floating dead fish visible from the pier. Not many anglers have been out this week and only Atlantic spadefish and pinfish have been caught, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).
Fish of the Week
Mangrove Snapper: Despite the red tide in the Tampa Bay area, a few spots are providing good action for mangrove snapper.
Strike Zone, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elsewhere
2: At Madeira Beach, west winds are pushing the red tide closer to the beaches. Out past 5 to 7 miles, the red tide clears. Fishing for red grouper, mangrove and lane snapper is good and really picks up around 60-foot mark. Deeper offshore past 120 foot, the red snapper bite picks up. There’s also good action for blackfin tuna, kingfish and some mahi for the pelagic anglers, reports Capt. Dylan Hubbard of Hubbard’s Marina (727-393-1947).
3: At John’s Pass, “with the red tide, it’s pretty bleak around the area and John’s Pass is a wasteland. It’s inside the back bays, in the pass and along the beach. With the west winds, the red tide is predicted to get worse along the beach later this week,” reports Hubbard.
4: At Fort De Soto Park, the red tide is pretty bad in the area and the marina has been filling up with dead fish every day. Most of our anglers have heading offshore. “We’ve been closing the bait shop at noon each day this week, but Friday through Sunday, we’ll be open to 2 p.m. for the weekend anglers,” reports Joe Berlin at Tierra Verde Bait and Tackle (727-864-2108).
5: Around the Sunshine Skyway and lower Tampa Bay, with lower Tampa Bay basically surrounded by red tide, the immediate area around the Manatee River has not yet been affected. Terra Ceia Bay is holding good numbers of snook, trout, and redfish. Mangrove snapper fishing has been good on any hard bottom, the rock piles outside of Rattlesnake Key and off of Emerson Reef. The deeper edges of the grass flats are also holding some keeper size snapper, reports Capt. John Gunter of Palmetto (863-838-5096).
6: At Anna Maria, Palma Sola Bay, Perico Bayou and the Seven Pines shoreline are clear of the red tide and offer the best fishing opportunities for snook, redfish and trout. Mangrove snapper fishing is good around the bridges and structure around Longboat Pass, reports Capt. Shawn Crawford of Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters. (941-705-3160).
7: At St. Petersburg, the red tide is much the same as last week and the St. Pete shoreline from Weedon Island to Fort De Soto is pretty bad. There’s some tarpon action nearshore about 8 miles out just past the red tide. There’s also some tarpon up in the bay around the Howard Frankland and the Gandy Bridge. Some of the canoe trails way back inside Weedon Island are also fishable. The shipping channel out past the Whistler Buoy is producing grouper and mangrove snapper, reports Larry Mastry at Mastry’s Tackle (727-896-8889).
8: In the north end of Tampa Bay, the fishing is still good north of the Gandy Bridge and into the upper bay. Picnic Island is also pretty much clear of the red tide. Mangrove snapper are biting around the bridges. The west shoreline north of the causeway and the Double Branch area are good for redfish. Tarpon are still up around the bridges mostly at night, but the Bayside Bridge is producing a few during the day. Some tarpon are also pushing up into the river because of the red tide. A few black drum are also biting around the bridges. Some cobia have been caught on the big tripod markers in the bay, reports Gandy Bait & Tackle (813-839-5551).
– At Sebastian Inlet, there’s good action for snook, redfish and mangrove snapper in the inlet. Big, bull whiting have been caught in the surf. The Wabasso Bridge is producing mangrove snapper and a few tarpon, reports Whitey’s Bait & Tackle (321-724-1440).
– At Fort Pierce, offshore there’s a good bottom bite for mutton and mangrove snapper and the occasional cobia at the 70 to 90-foot mark. There’s kingfish and a few mahi on the troll around 50 to 80 foot. At the inlet, there’s whiting, croakers and few snook in the surf. Snook are also taking live baits in the south jetty cove and inside the inlet. Runoff at Juanita spillway is still producing snook in the 30 to 40-inch range. Mangrove snapper are biting around the bridges and along the channel edges, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).
Read More:Mangrove Snapper biting despite red tide in Tampa Bay area